How HouseCall Pro increased their close rate by 15% using SMS

by Nick Persico

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Roland Ligtenberg and his team at Housecall Pro have been using SMS as a critical part of their sales process for some time. We had their team participate in our closed SMS beta to provide that same honest and direct feedback our product team has always relied on.

 Now that SMS is available to all Close users, we asked Roland to share his thoughts and best practices when considering to use SMS in a sales process. Here’s what he had to say:

 

What role does SMS play in your current sales process?


“Because we sell to small businesses (1-20 employees), SMS is a critical medium we use to communicate with them. The easiest way to increase your sales conversions across the funnel from education > sale, is to communicate in the medium your customer uses frequently and is most responsive to. In our industry, the Home Service space, phone call and SMS are the preferred method of communication.”

“We use SMS to do everything from initial outreach and contact, to confirming demo times, to post-demo follow-up and onboarding. Often it’s less committal and takes less time, on both the Sales Rep & Customer side, to send a simple SMS, and is a great tool to add into a sequence. “


What advice do you have for sales teams that are thinking about using SMS as a tool in their sales process?


“When initially adding SMS into your sales workflow, you need to first examine if it’s an appropriate or desired medium of communication of your ideal customer.”

“An easy way to figure this out is when you reach out, use the trifecta (email, phone, text), and measure which medium they respond to. Whichever medium they choose to communicate with you is the one you should pursue the most. If you see SMS getting traction continue, otherwise taper down the quantity or stop altogether if you don’t seem to get texts back. This is easily measurable by using the filters you can place in the search query inside of Close - let data make the decision for you.”


What are the first steps someone should do when preparing to introduce SMS as a tool to their sales team?


“It’s important to have a different text voice that matches your use of SMS. If you are doing demo confirmation and “transactional” texts, then keep it professional and to the point. If you are using it for post-demo follow up and you’ve built up rapport with the Customer, then feel free to text more like you would with friends. This is something you can prepare your team for by showing examples to be most effective with SMS.

“In addition, if you have never used SMS as part of your workflow, the best way to make it a habit is to link it with a previous action (call or email) that is in your existing sequence. For example, if you normally do “Call > Call > Email > Call > Email”, just make it a rule that after every call made you HAVE TO send a SMS as well.”

“This might be overkill early on, but helps get the habit formed.”


What should someone using SMS in sales NOT do? What is the etiquette when texting prospects?


“If you send a couple texts with no reply, stop - it’s a very powerful way to reach out, but with great power comes great responsibility.. 😎”


What KPIs do you use to measure success with SMS?


“Rather than measuring a new set of KPIs, measure the current funnel pre and post SMS implementation. Try to keep the other variables introduced during this time low to isolate the true impact of SMS.”


Since you started using SMS in Close, have there been any noticeable improvements in your sales workflow?


“We’ve been using SMS from our personal phones for a long time, so by adding SMS directly into the Close workflow we’ve definitely saved time. We’ve seen an increased use in SMS from our team.”

“We are still in the process of getting everyone to use SMS, but for the Sales team that does, they are seeing between 25-50% improvement of connection/communication rate.“

“We also see that when SMS are used in the sales workflow, Customers enroll at a 15% higher rate.”

HouseCall Pro is a cloud-based field service management software that allows service professionals to run their business from anywhere.